Frontline democracy and the battle for Ukraine


The long decline of global democracy stalled in 2022, according to the latest edition of the Democracy Index from The Economist Intelligence Unit, Frontline democracy and the battle for Ukraine:

The annual survey rates the state of democracy across 167 countries on the basis of five measures with a maximum score of ten—electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties. The latest edition finds that almost half (45.3%) of the world’s population live in a democracy of some sort, while more than a third (36.9%) live under authoritarian rule (see map). The global score of 5.29 out of ten, a rise of just 0.01 from the previous year, represents stagnation rather than a reversal of the democratic recession that began in 2016, which had seemed probable.

It had sometimes seemed that Ukraine would never be able to break with its corrupt political patronage system, despite a strong popular desire for democracy, and two huge popular mobilizations in 2004 and 2014, the report adds:

Russia’s invasion of 2022 may have provided the shock that will ensure no return to the status quo ante in Ukraine. Russia’s war of aggression has raised the level of national consciousness and will amplify expectations of change afterwards. Historically, wars have been among the biggest drivers of political and social change; this may also be the case for Ukraine, provided that it wins.






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